Lessons Learned – Lifelong Learning is the Key to Success
A company that constantly develops new and operates in the field of something yet unknown, needs either huge research resources or an excellent network of research partners – or both. Besides the new products coming out of the innovation tube, a good network of partners has another advantage: you can’t avoid constantly learning new things.
These days you really can’t execute a project without giving a serious thought about the environmental issues, sustainability being one of them. The LuxTurrim5G project focuses on creating a 5G network based on smart light poles, which will form the digital backbone of future smart cities. During the project, we started co-operating with TUNI (Tampere University) regarding the aging of materials. Aging refers to any changes in the material properties caused by time or operating. In addition to physical and chemical phenomena, the materials will wear. Naturally, before turning entire cities smart with this innovation, we are interested in the fact how long the materials and equipment will last before they meet the end of their life cycle. To discover this faster, we use a process called accelerated aging.
“The research of aging is particularly important in polymer materials as their aging processes can be fairly fast and thus, shorten the life cycle dramatically”
states Mikko Kanerva, professor at Tampere University. The collaboration with TUNI has taught us how to compound our materials so they will outlast the technology itself while being used as radomes in the smart light poles.
Another cool project that we have going on, is developing mmWave dielectric rod antennas - acting as body doubles for cutlery - with TU Darmstadt. Manufacturing these thin shapes out of PREPERM® might be an easy task for any cutlery manufacturer, but it sure has taught us and our CNC machining partner a lesson or two! These lessons have been valuable also when working with other customers.
Premix’s RF Technology Manager Dr. Jan Järveläinen oversees our academic collaboration. Jan, what do you think is the most valuable outcome of Premix’s academic collaboration?
“Naturally, as a company who is doing business, we highly value the new innovations that go commercial. Still, I must admit that I get big kicks also from many technical aspects relating to the functionality of completely new concepts.”
And it’s not always about completely new things, either. For example, we operate with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who measures our material with tools and methods beyond our own capabilities. This data is valuable for us and has given us a totally new level of understanding of our own material and how to develop it further.
For us it’s never just about a good-quality material but the big picture instead: deep understanding of the area and the phenomena around it. To do this, we need to constantly learn and develop ourselves. At Premix, we are lucky to work with the very best. With Aalto University we are working on energy efficiency in RF, whereas with Pavia University and Loughborough University we focus on the research of 3D filaments, to mention a few of our partners. Please click below to read more about the collaboration. If you would like to join this crowd and have an interesting case for us, please drop us a line!
Premix and Pavia University have collaborated on manufacturing a 3D printed antenna for an innovative microwave radar, predicting snowpack stability.
Premix and Loughborough University have collaborated for many years exploring the potential of 3D printing antennas & RF components for microwave, mmWave and beyond.